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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 3 (July 1, 1929)

Farmers' Excursions

page 48

Farmers' Excursions

A prominent local farmer, when asked this week how it came about that while farmers' excursion trains from the South Island were patronised by over 1000 persons the Taranaki excursion to the south had attracted less than 200 passengers, readily replied that the difference was only an indication of the general recognition of the fact that the North Island was the better part of New Zealand! His friend, who was a South Islander, accounted for the difference in the figures by asserting that the South Island farmers are more prosperous and more eager to gain fresh knowledge and impressions. With honours thus easy between inter-island loyalties, it is possible to wish success to both expeditions and express the hope that the interchange of visits to begin this week will be the forerunners of many more.

If the Railways Department can find it practicable to continue the running of farmers' trains it will be doing a good service to the Dominion generally. The basic objective, so far as the Department is concerned, is the popularising of the railways, but other good effects follow.

The provision of cheap fares and facilities for large parties of relatives and neighbours travelling together is made at a time of the year which suits the farming community. It enables country people to renew acquaintance and establish contact with other parts of the Dominion under conditions which ensure the maximum amount of enjoyment being extracted from the trip. The interchange of ideas between North and South Island farmers, and the first-hand knowledge gained of each other's working advantages and disadvantages, cannot help but result in a spread of knowledge of value to both sections and to the country generally.

The benefits of travel are manifold; it makes us less self-satisfied in some respects and more satisfied in others; it stimulates ideas and provides material for balanced and soundly based opinion; but its first effect, that of giving the pleasure which comes from fresh environment and changing experience, is not the least. The Taranaki excursionists carry with them the best wishes of their Province for an enjoyable holiday.—(From the Hawera Star.)

By means of an adaptation of the wireless telephone it is now possible for passengers travelling on the Canadian National Railways between Montreal and Toronto, to converse with friends in either city. Conversations between the respective cities and trains on this section can be carried on in similar manner.